I like things in order. I always have. My parents tell me that when I was a child I would organize the utensil drawer for fun. It’s true. Not much has changed in 40 years either.
Naturally this trait would follow into my Bible studies that I have done over the years. As a child I learned various stories from the Bible, but had no idea they were connected in any way except that God was there in all of them. As I began studying, I started seeing the connection. It was all about one big family, starting with Adam and continuing on through descendants like Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David and Jesus.
My father-in-law gave me a great gift a few years ago, The Timechart of Biblical History. This book opens up into one long timeline, complete with maps and lists. Yes, this speaks my love language!
I’ve put together a few documents of my own over the years too. These have greatly helped me in understanding the flow of Scripture. I can understand the details of a particular life better when I know the larger picture. Here’s an example: Take the life of Abraham. God called him to leave everything behind to go to a place unknown. Later he called him to sacrifice his own son. Abraham was obedient in both. That took great faith. Where did he learn such faith? Why did God single him out among all others? That’s when I saw something in the genealogy timeline. So many times when reading the genealogies in scripture I would just skim through them. But one day I stopped and tried to chart it all out (this was long before the internet was handy). Thankfully someone else thinks like me and posted their chart on the internet recently. Generations from Noah to Isaac
On that chart, compare Noah and Shem with Abraham. What do you see? I see that Noah was still alive when Abraham was born and that Shem continued to live even after Abraham died. So then I starting asking God some questions: Did they live close to each other? I know about the division after the Tower of Babel, but did Abraham remain in the group with Noah and Shem? Did Abraham hear first hand accounts of the flood? Did You tell Noah and Shem that Abraham was special and set-apart? I wanted to know everything.
That’s how my fascination with genealogy and timelines started. Here are more of the charts I’ve used that will hopefully get you excited about Scripture in a whole new way:
If you have tools and certain websites that you like to use to enhance your study of Scripture, please let me know.